Five knobs - Four like a regular flanger (level, regeneration, delay, and width) and an additional three way knob to select delay time ranges (0.5ms up to 17ms). I'm convinced this pedal is incapable of bad sounds no matter what setting you have it on.
I wasn't aware that it was one of the secret weapons Tom Morello uses for his signature "Rage Against the Machine" sound. Wow, it really DOES live up to the hype!! I do believe the hype on this one!! Its awesome for metal and also very warm and organic on a clean channel. Its the BEST flanger I've heard so far. You can get chorus sounds and jet plane swooshes. Turn all controls to the right and you get wicked synth type sounds!!!
I've tried BOSS BF-2 and BF-3 Flanger but its seems a tad too cold and digital. If you cant find one or cant afford one on EBAY or Craigslist Ill suggest getting a vintage or a vintage reissue of an Ibanez FL9 Flanger.
The one pictured is my own Ibanez DFL Flanger. Ive had this pedal for 5 years and sold it in 2004. In '99 I paid $150+ for it as a package pedal deal on EBAY then later sold it for around $350. Vintage pedal market is getting way out of hand now. Pedals are meant to be used by musicians.
To produce his alien guitar sounds, Morello chooses various effects pedals. During his tenure in RATM, he used a Dublop Cry Baby, a Digitech WH-1 Whammy, a BOSS DD-2 Digital Delay, a DOD EQ pedal (set flat and just used to boost the volume during guitar solos or particular rocking moments), and an Ibanez DFL Flanger. Around the time of The Battle of Los Angeles he added a Boss TR-2 Tremolo pedal (which can be heard on "Guerrilla Radio").
A hard to find digital flanger from the mid-1980s that is a real score if you can track one down. This 5 knobbed fellow is found in the typical 10 series metal housing with the tempermental plastic footswitch. Soundwise, this shimmering flanger has that grating tinge of metallic coldness that suits itself well to dark industrial music or bands who dole out noise in massive amounts. There is nothing soft and squishy about the sounds found here. Its ultra-crisp and clear with a sinister bite that sounds absolutely amazing when paired with a wall of crunchy Marshalls. Aside from all the typical flanger controls, the DFL Flanger adds a selectable mode switch to add some sort of a pre-delay which increases the width of the flanger. It's a useful addition for squeezing even more demented tones from this puke green beast.
The Ibanez DFL is the first flanger to use digital processing. The exclusive IDPC (Ibanez Digital Processing Conversion) system permits wideband, brighter flanging effects previously available only with rackmount digital processors.The DFL also features an extra wide 8:1 sweep ratio for deeper, wide-ranging flanging effects. The DELAY MODE switch selects one of three delay ranges while the DELAY TIME control adjusts the delay within each range. As a result, the flanging action is tunable over a wide range of fascination flange sounds.